Oh, the pressure! Men and women are trying to find “The One.” When looking for a potential mate, the urge to get in there and make it work is a driving force. People are so busy looking for someone who is relationship material and finding Mr. or Ms. Right that they forget to engage in life and have fun. In fact, dating to have fun is thought of as frivolous or is secretly held as downright immoral. Going out to enjoy
yourself and have fun rather than find a marriageable mate is generally viewed as a big taboo.

“That’s not true of me,” you might say. “I think having fun is really fi ne and a great idea.” Okay, fi ll in the blanks: A woman who has four dates with four different guys in one week is.

A fellow who is dating four different women is.

Of course, some of you might fill in the blank with the word lucky, but is that really the truth? Have you ever found it difficult to date more than one person at a time, even casually? Have you ever had only one date with someone and then spent a lot of time thinking about him or her to the exclusion of all others? Have you ever passed up going out because you are waiting, hoping for that fantasy phone call or e-mail that never
comes? Or have you pined for someone who lives in another city or country, knowing full well that you have no intention of moving and neither does he or she?
Over the years, we have seen both men and women immediately pin their hopes on one person to the exclusion of all others. For instance, Jessica started trading e-mails with Bill, a man from an online dating service. He seemed so nice that she didn’t answer the other e-mails from prospective suitors because, hopefully, this fellow would end up as her boyfriend. She thought about him a lot and looked forward to seeing what other messages would come. Eventually they talked on the phone, and finally they had a date, and then two.

What if you just started to go out for fun? See if you can include the societal programming for finding a mate and then simply let yourself enjoy people—lots of people. The best place to start is everywhere! If you begin to let yourself have fun with the person you buy your coffee from in the morning or the ticket seller at the movies or the next person in the checkout line, you will begin to relax and be more yourself.
Being yourself is really attractive.

Who are you more likely to be interested in—someone who is enjoying himself or herself and taking pleasure in the moment, or someone who is trying to fulfi ll an agenda?

A friend of ours recently told us of a blind date she had. It started out lighthearted enough, but by the end of the evening, the man had started talking about the two of them getting married. It totally turned her off. Obviously, a relationship isn’t something you can force.

If you recognize and sidestep the trap of trying to achieve a relationship, you may discover yourself having so much fun with someone that a relationship simply and beautifully happens.

Some of you may be reading this and thinking, Thank goodness I have found my partner and I don’t have to worry about dating anymore. If so, then here is a question for you: what have the two of you done for fun lately?

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